Whenever I feel down and wonder how I will ever survive a current personal or family crisis, I come back to this photo of the Miracle Pine in Rikuzentakata. 

I went to an Izagaya in Ofunato two years ago. I was the only customer. The proprietor, a young man in his late twenties, said his former place was wiped away by the tsunami. He had pieced together threads of his business from memory to get a handle on the loss he experienced. 

In Pacific Grove, California, I was walking around the neighborhoods I had lived as a child. I was walking by the side of the Fandango Restaurant and spied the water pipes. I was attracted by the orange and black colors. In a museum this object would be considered an art piece perhaps with a hefty price tag.  t

Ah, yes. A detailed close up of the industrial artwork.

I suppose the brightest and most glorious artwork I can see is from the window of my apartment. The apartment faces east and I can see the sun peaking over the hills and city scape each morning. If only I had the sense to appreciate the sight before my first cup of coffee. By the time the water for the coffee boils to the right temperature, the sunlight changes and I lose the moment. 

How many geologic years did it take to fashion this piece of natural artwork, I wondered as I marveled at the intricacy of the formation.  Would that I were more versed in the science of geology. 

A memorial image in relief showing a reclining Buddha, dying perhaps? Or has the Buddha gone on to another level of enlightenment? The dedication reveals a far more down-to-earth level of enlightenment. The words read: "The memorial for the national painters’ association."

The temple bell that hangs in the temple grounds near my apartment is tolled each day at 5:00 p.m. The tolling reminds us that another day in our lives is coming to an end. Another day closer to our final moment. 

The Buddhist priest each day at 5:00 p.m. swings the heavy log to ring the bell. The tolling  resounds throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. Time to prepare for dinner, the tolling reminds me.

Rain soaked fields afford an unimpeded view of Hirota Bay. The view came at the cost of lives and property that once thrived here. 

The poster of prime minister faces a field devoid of energy and life. The slogan reads: Regional districts! Take a leading role in growth. 

I was trampling through the woods in Pacific Grove when I came upon the forlorn remains of tree roots. The shape reminded me of a little boy who has lost his mother in a shopping mall. Strange!  How could I think of a shopping mall in the middle of the woods?

The statue of Don Quixote swelters in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The sunlight blazes downward, its rays bouncing off Don Quixote's metallic body. I turn away and walk toward the shadows and continued on my quixotic trek to the supermarket.

Back to Top